What is the Stalin’s ‘socialism in one country’?
Another debate that occurred during this time was how the USSR should take on the future of Socialism; Trotsky and Stalin had a conflicting idea on how socialism should evolve. Trotsky argued for worldwide, permanent revolution and that the Soviets should promote Communism in other countries to end Russia’s isolation issues and takeover capitalist governments.
He also believed that in order to continue the USSR on the road towards complete socialism, militant labor units might be mandatory as well as making peasants farm collectively. This would have been an unpopular choice with the peasants, as collective farming may entail lower wages, as well as less independence since the farms were run by the state. The collective farms could also lose productivity, as those newly placed in charge were likely not to have much experience farming and would make uninformed decisions.
Stalin, on the other hand, became synonymous with the policy of ‘socialism in one country’ towards the end of 1924. By this, it was thought that the USSR could create a socialist base, through industrialization and military prowess, in order to become a robust source of socialism which could not be threatened by the outside world. His argument to modernize the Soviet Union first to become capable of rivaling the west allowed Stalin to be seen, by the people, as a true nationalist. In comparison, John Layer notes, that ‘Trotsky’s vision, dependent as it was upon the success of events outside Soviet borders, could easily be made to appear defeatist.’ This highlights that people wanted change, and because it appeared as though Trotsky was taking a step back, Stalin’s policy was favoured.